Today was a big day here in Ottawa – it was the day of the famous Preston St. criterium. This race has been going on for years (I don’t know how long) but I first watched it in 1994 (mine and Marc’s second date was me watching him race) – and I’ve hooked ever since…
I’ve done this race three times – the last time it was the big all-one category 100 km criterium that included the hill on Gladstone Ave. and then twice racing with the women. I had planned to do it this year, but it wasn’t in the cards.
Instead I was out to watch the races and to hand out The Cyclery water bottles to the little kids. It was literally an entire day of racing today including an hour of kids’ racing. Yes, one hour of all ages of kids on all manners of bikes – some raced for 100 meters on bikes with training wheels (or bikes with no pedals) right up to an under 13 category that races on the full course. Seeing those kids race was something special. Even better was talking to some of them after the race and hearing them replay the race and seeing the enthusiasm in their faces and body language. Let’s hope these kids stick with cycling.
For me the other highlight of the day was watching the men’s racing and cheering on Marc. Watching him race and seeing so many others race really made me miss racing. It was hard to be at the race and explain to people when asked why I wasn’t racing. But I know my time will come soon and when it does I’ll be ready for it.
A sign of progress is being at the race and really wish I could do it. I’m feeling stronger and stronger every day. My legs are coming around. My recovery is better. My technical skills are increasing by leaps and bounds. Now I just need the okay from those who look at the numbers and I’ll be back on full-steam ahead.
As John Gee said to me today “you’re always an optimist” – well there really is no other way to be. I’ve got that feeling that this is going to be a good one.